Hey, everybody, it’s Robby Besner, back with another amazing episode and a fantastic guest today. His name is Dr. Perry Nickelston And this guy is super unusual because he’s got his own journey that he’ll share with us a little bit of, and he comes with amazing credentials. He’s worked in addiction and has credentials there in compulsive disorders, and that’s sort of important, because, particularly in today’s world, whether you like it or not, we find ourselves getting really drawn in and mostly in that sympathetic dominance, very anxious state. And this guy knows how to calm you down. He works in the pain category. That’s really mostly where he’s focusing these days and hopefully he’ll share some of his techniques with us.
But he used his like deep tissue laser and things like that to alleviate many of these pain areas in the body and open up those channels so that we get better blood flow and things happen in the body when you bring oxygen in and blood flow in and all that kind of stuff. He knows about physical therapy. He’s been working and actually he’s been coordinating and writing as a columnist for many of the main tabloids. And you may have seen some of his work already with health magazines and physical therapy magazines. So the guy’s well-read, well-versed and he puts it out there.
He’s a master trainer. He’s worked in the fitness category, or fitness area, for a while. And he’s really a very dynamic guy, runs a podcast of his own, and I was honored by him asking me to be on his podcast. So hopefully, you’ll visit his podcast, and you can reach him simply, the topic is his website, and you can get to him by stopchasingpain.com, pretty simple. And there you can set up an appointment. He can dive in. He really wants to work with the individual. It’s not just a general program. It’s very specific to your needs. And that’s kind of unusual in today’s world where everything wants to be homogenized. This guy unpacks it all, and then he wants to make a program and a profile that actually fits your personal needs. So with that, welcome to the program. Dr. Perry. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Thank you very much for having me. I’m really excited to be here.
Okay, so can you just give us a little backdrop, like kind of maybe a little bit of the background and then kind of walk us forward to today, and why and where your focuses are, as we speak.
Sure, I’ll be happy to, and thank you for the great introduction. I appreciate that. Yeah, well, my name kind of says it all, Stop Chasing Pain. So I got into health care about 25 years ago, which I can’t believe actually I have to say that number. And I started off in chiropractic 25 years ago, but I’ve ventured away from that in many, many different ways, because, ever since my first day in practice, I was always asking myself, why in the world are all these people coming in with so many issues, but more importantly, why do they have to keep coming back? What’s the deal with that? I mean, the human body is supposed to be way more resilient than what it appears to be right now.
And it is, honestly. But I was using all the current treatment technologies and tools and programs, and here’s the dirty little secret. They all work for somebody, once you find the right one for the right individual at the right time. Everything has to kind of line up like quantum physics for it to work out well. But I was thinking, there’s gotta be something that we’re missing with pain, . First of all, to me, what does pain mean? There’s so many different types of definitions for what pain means. And to me, it means two things.
One, it means you got inflammation somewhere. And here’s the kicker. it doesn’t mean that the greatest amount of inflammation has to be where the site of pain is. That’s what stop chasing pain means. It doesn’t say stop treating pain. But what happens when you have pain? That’s exactly where they treat, and you should. And if it gets better and stays better, check the win box, that’s a score.
What if it doesn’t? Don’t keep checking the same box. You have to look somewhere else. You have to look at the whole individual, the whole human being. So I started to treat pain, but then I began to venture and look everywhere else. But I was still trapped in a box per se of just looking at one system of the body. And for me, it was more of the musculoskeletal system because that’s my wheelhouse. I got trained in it, you know, from muscle to bone, to ligament, to fascia, to all those different names that we give things.
But those are intermixed with all the other different systems of the body that I really wasn’t paying much attention to, in the early stages, until the universe saw a way to help me find an answer that I use now for treating people by sending me a lot of pain and suffering. So I got sick about five, six years ago, beyond just a regular musculoskeletal things where my body just basically turned on itself. And some people listening may know what that’s like, and you go and you try to find an answer for it. And they can’t give you one. Or many times, you’ll struggle a long time before you find that answer to what it might be.
So they just said, well, you have the quote unquote autoimmune disease where the body just decides to turn on itself. I’m like, well, I don’t agree with that. First of all, I don’t think it’s true. And the treatment approaches that they use to try to help me made me worse. And I went into the quicksand really, really fast and tried to find an answer to things. And I really couldn’t find answers to what was going on, but I was getting worse, and I hit rock bottom, honestly. I had a mental breakdown, a physical breakdown. I had to stop clinical practice, had to stop teaching. I was bedridden for 18 to 20 hours out of a day. Couldn’t get enough rest, and basically the energy of my body was slowly dying. And I actually felt like dying. I gave up in many different ways and I kind of had a come to Jesus moment that I call it when I knew I needed to rescue myself when… I don’t know if I’ve shared this with you, but I shared it in the past on my shows. I made a call to a suicide hotline because I was at the verge of not wanting to go on anymore.
I made that call and I spoke with the individuals and hung up with them. And they’re obligated, based on if they think that you’re a danger to yourself, to notify the authorities. And they did just that. And then within an hour later, maybe even sooner, two police cruisers pulled up to my front door at my house, knocked on the door. And then that’s when the people that I love in my life found out. And that’s a moment, that’s a revelation moment. And I said, it’s time you gotta rescue yourself.
You got two options here. And that’s when everything opened up for me to look at things in a different way, because the way that I was looking at things now, and the way that everybody else was looking was not working. So that’s when I went back to like basics and fundamentals, of listen, the human body is designed to heal itself. And why in the hell is it not able to do that? So I had to regress back and almost kind of like 101 of the body. And that led me into the work that I do now of changing the lens of looking at just one thing, one causation, and that’s what you go after. It’s a lot of things that are mixed together. And then that’s how you treat the human body. And that’s why my approach now encompasses a single phrase that I’d say. No system in the body ever works alone. And the systems might be your immune system, your nervous system, your cardiovascular system.
They all have different names. First of all, your body doesn’t even know what those mean. Right? And so none of them ever work alone. They never get injured alone. They never heal alone. So that’s all of them mixed together. And that’s when I started to study embodiment or like an ecosystem in nature. Everything working together to try to help each other, and if one is struggling, another one will try to take up the slack as best it can. And that’s what brought me to where I am right now.
And it’s an amazing thing kind of. I look back and I’m grateful, honestly, for what I went through because I would not be looking at the body the way I am now, if I didn’t hit rock bottom. Because you’re never gonna change when you’re comfortable, ’cause why would you? Everything’s going great. But things come along your path that can take you to your knees, that, yeah, maybe they’re gonna teach you a lesson and bring you to a certain place in your life. But I honestly believe this, that I was meant to go through it because I was supposed to come across other people’s paths and other people that are suffering so I can show them what I went through. And I had to do it to get there. ‘Cause I knew people were suffering with things, but I didn’t, you follow?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You went through it and you come through it and you look around. The universe shows you things that have always been there, but you never noticed it. It’s called awareness. I call it the new car effect. When you drive off the lot with a new car, and then you look around, you’re like, okay, when did everybody get my new car? They’ve always been there. And it’s the same thing. So I’m actually blessed that I went through it because it’s allowed me to, one, I wouldn’t be here right now talking to you if I didn’t get to that standpoint. Does that make sense?
Totally, man. Super interesting. And there’s so many things that you’ve just said in the last few minutes that I know everybody out there in Lyme land can really appreciate. The whole essence of this program is healing from Lyme. And how do we do that? What’s the journey? And we all know that we’re complex as individuals. In fact, I’m just putting together a presentation I’ll be putting on next week. And one of my slides talks about that very same topic that you brought up about compartmentalizing. In today’s world, in modern medicine, Western medicine, they break everything up into how is the brain connected to the heart, connected to the gut? And you’ve got these specialists in all these different areas. And then, so where’s the generalist? Where is the general contractor that manages your health care that understands how all those parts are connected. Because you really can’t service one side of the body or one part of the body, one system of the body without it affecting a different one.
Right, it’s impossible.
Yeah, and generally when you start to break down, it actually happens on a cell level. And so we build back up on a cell level. One other thing you should know, I went to school in the early 70s, and I went to school in Boston, which was the birth of the gestalt movement. And so I was studying a tri-track, business, psychology and biology.
And part of my studies on the… What I did was like pro bono work, and I was on the other end of that suicide hotline. I was working late nights managing people that were in crisis. And it really is just like what you said. You need to kind of get to that moment where you have this realization that there’s nowhere no further down that you can go. The only way is up, if you choose to to take that path. And that’s why I love the work that I was doing, because we rescued so many people that were at that crisis moment and gave them the inspiration. And people out there know this. We’ve got Lyme patients that have exhausted all their money. They’ve exhausted, gone to 20 doctors.
They get some benefit. They go a little forward, then three steps back. And after a while, that kind of gets old. And even in our own personal journey with our daughter, there was a point where I couldn’t even approach her. I had to actually sit down and create a whole thesis why she should go see this new doctor that I was bringing to her because of their skills and the new things that were evolving in Lyme. This was started twenty-five years ago. So now we’re greatly advanced, but still the psychology is there. And it’s really nice to know. I’m sure everybody out there is really, really happy to hear this from you because you’ve been there and now you’re at the other end of the tunnel. And you took that journey, too, and all the energy around that to reverse it, reverse yourself, and certainly bring all of that energy and all of that skill and direct it towards helping other people. And you can really appreciate what they’re going through. And I think that’s super important for people to know.
Well, yeah, I agree, 1,000%. That journey also led me into stuff that I’d ever really paid attention to, and that’s emotional-based work. I’m very honest with people, in the beginning of my career, I just thought that was fru-fru stuff. I didn’t really look at it at all. I mean, definitely times have changed anyway as well. But now I see the magnitude of it, of, one, for myself. When i was very, very sick, I became aware of how my body reacted to almost anything. And when you’re in a heightened state of your sympathetic nervous system and you’re in survival mode, fight, flight, freeze, freak out, fawn.
They call it the four F’s. You’re just on alert for everything. And then one small stress input, even though it’s a positive stress, it can can set you off because your threshold for stress has decreased. So that’s where therapeutic failures fail a lot is that people have such a hypersensitive nervous system and systems of the body that when you do too many good things, too much, too fast, too soon, you set the system off and it goes further into survival mode and you make less progress, even though you’re trying to help the person. So you have to do what we call tiny little action steps. Go in slow.
Because first of all, they have to grant you access to come on in anyway, in order to make the change. If the fists are up, they’re not gonna let you in. So you have to get into that development of having that person feel safe, loved, and accepted. So a small input can be huge on the back end. That’s the thing that gets lost a lot in medicine and in the body, because we tend to look at the body in a very linear relationship, which is okay, input A will give you an output of B as a causation.
It makes logical sense. But I got news for you. The body is not logical. It is in its own way, but not for the one that you have with your conscious logic and subconscious. And so the body and physiology is non-linear. That means that you can have a small input in the front end, that can be huge and catastrophic on the backend. And it can go the other way. You can do something really, really big on the frontend and get nothing on the backend. That’s why so many things are elusive because people are looking for some big cause of something. And it’s usually, in my experience, a fundamental small one that somebody’s overlooked in relationship to looking for the big. And once you can find that… It’s elusive. I call it the elusive obvious. That’s from Moshe Feldenkrais. It’s right in front of you. It’s always been there.
You just stopped looking for it. One, because it seems so simple. Or here’s another mistake. You think, because it’s so simple, everybody’s already looked for it. Wrong. Like, I can’t tell you how many people come in to see me, and I ask a basic question, hey, are you drinking water? And then they tell me, usually, maybe no, which I get, or a yes. And then I do the followup question, how much? And then I’m lucky if I get like a glass and then I ask the next question. Well, what are you drinking instead of water? And then just that, ’cause I tell people, listen, I don’t care how great your therapy is that you’re getting, if you’re dehydrated, nothing’s gonna work. That’s a big, big thing, right?
I’m gonna be honest with you, the longer I’ve done this, the less I care what your diagnosis is. Like, you can walk in to see me with A, B, C, D, E, F, G. I don’t really care because I’m going after the same mechanism of underlying inflammation, and what your body is trying to do to get rid of your A, B, C, D, E, F, G, ’cause it never changes. It’s the same thing it’s always gonna do no matter what comes on in. It’s just got a different name to it. So once I check the fundamental boxes, then you can start to get more specific towards something, but you have to have the basic fundamental checklist done off first, and it comes down to inflammation. So something that we taught that happened for me when I was sick is that I got on Google and I was looking up all my symptoms, and then next thing you know, I’m feeling way worse because I’m seeing everything that it could be.
And then I’m going in, okay, I’ve got a little ache in my elbow, And then, I don’t know, 60 minutes later, I’ve got an exotic disease from Africa and I’ve never been there. It’s like my mind is going crazy. And then you just go down this anxiety sinkhole. But here’s the thing that’s very fascinating that I learned. One of the things that’s the most stressful and terrifying for the human nervous system, immune system, immune system in particular, not just the nervous system, is uncertainty and not knowing and lack of control and inability to predict what comes next. So I thought to myself, it’s almost like the devil you know is better than the devil that you don’t know. Which means that latching onto something and having a label is better than not having any idea of what’s wrong with you.
Right, I’m totally there.
I’m telling you, because trust me, nothing is more terrifying than you not knowing what the hell is going on. And I know people that are listening to that have probably had that, ’cause many people, you’ve been to how many specialists before they even told you that you had Lyme, or tested for Lyme. And I see that with other infections, too. They’re called stealth infections, which a lot of people have these infections on in the body. They don’t show up in testing, which as you know, a lot of time, Lyme doesn’t show up either, but it’s there.
Then you’re like, okay, well, why in the hell is my life falling apart if all the tests show up normal? That’s why I don’t care what the tests show. I care what I see with the person and what I feel when I touch the body. One of the biggest lost art in medicine is human touch. Because there’s things I’m gonna be able to tell when I touch your body that no test is gonna show me, at all. And that’s the part that I get into, and I try to look at all those different systems of how they work together. And here’s the interesting thing. Now I talked about pain, and pain is many different things to many different people. You’ve got emotional pain, first of all.
But if you have pain in any way, shape or form, I know one thing, there’s inflammation somewhere. I said that before. And inflammation is the underlying reason why a lot of people stay sick because it’s that systemic chronic, they often call it silent inflammation, which is there but you don’t know is there until one day you wake up and you can’t move. Like all of a sudden, you’re sick today, but you were great yesterday.
Probably not. And the inflammation settles everywhere in the body. But one of the biggest places it settles is in your nervous system and in your brain. So a lot of people go down this emotion-based quicksand, because they have so much inflammation in their brain that it’s affecting the hormone levels in their brain. And it’s not their fault that they fall into the emotional abyss. And you can’t tell them, just suck it up and change your thought process because that’s not gonna work. Why? Because the brain cells and the neurons are sitting in toxic soup and they’re only gonna wire and fire as well as the environment that they live in. And trust me, if it’s sitting in your brain, it’s sitting everywhere. It’s gonna be in your gut. It’s gonna be in your liver. It’s gonna be in between the tissues of your cells, no matter what it is, no matter what it is. So it’s full body.
You know, for any of you guys that have just tuned in, we’re talking to Dr. Perry Nickelston. And you can reach him at www.stopchasingpain.com. But don’t be fooled because this guy is more than just a pain doctor. And you hit a couple of points just now that I think are really important. First, Lyme mimics so many other diseases, so when you come in, and with Lyme or suspected of Lyme, many times, in fact, we do coaching ourselves. And just this week we had three patients that had called in and they were misdiagnosed with MS and many other neurological-related activities because of the connections, right?
And so I can’t think of a worst combination. You’ve got this diagnosis on a chart that’s wrong. They’re treating you for MS. You have Lyme. So they’re not treating you for what you have, and then they’re treating you for what you don’t have. I can’t think of a worse scenario in terms of treatment plans. So I love your approach of just treating the person as you objectively and clinically evaluate them coming in. Not necessarily with a label that they either found themselves with and/or you just take your own evaluation and then take it from there. I think that’s super important. And then you covered a point that I think is often forgotten about, and that’s the emotional healing part. And certainly, we have the emotions of the individual, but there’s a dynamic in the family.
Everybody’s affected. It’s not just the Lyme patient. And I don’t think you can truly heal completely unless you do manage to work with the emotional part. Once you get the release, and the other point that you made that was amazing to me was the one, and I’ve done a lot of emotional healing myself through my journey and my personal life. And I found that asking forgiveness and catching the emotional points is almost one of the fastest ways to heal. You know, not taking vitamins, you’re not going through therapy. It’s not very extensive long range. Once you understand the trigger or maybe where the block was from the emotional point, maybe it could have been, and in many cases, and there’s many theories about prior life emotions. That you carry a lot of emotional baggage in your DNA before you even hit the ground running.
We had a gal who suffered from breast cancer, and we asked some questions about what was it like when your mother was carrying you in her belly? Well, how is she supposed to know that, she’s in her belly? But when she came out, she remembered that she came from a very poor family and they wanted to give her up for adoption. And so her parents were fighting back and forth throughout her carrying, and now she’s in the belly, but she’s hearing them yelling about, should we just have an abortion? Should we would just give… The whole thing. Now she comes out and her mother turns to her and says, you know, the only reason why I’m living is because of you, and she’s carrying that. And that manifested in breast cancer 45 years later. As soon as we found that little hook and she broke down in tears when she remembered that session. Within six months, she was cancer-free. That’s how powerful emotional healing can be. So let’s not discount that.
Well, you usually come across the emotion-based work when you hit rock bottom. After you’ve tried everything that is supposed to work and is AKA, logical, or all that, then when you’re suffering, your mind opens up a lot to new things. So there’s always an emotional component to chronic pain and illness. That’s what makes us human beings and not rocks.
Yeah, the other approach that I just love that you hit on was just sort of what I call primal healing. Like, look at the primal things in nature, air, water, food, sunlight. Do you have all those bases covered?
Most people don’t.
Yeah, I know, and when you talk about water, like we’re a nation that drinks a lot of water but the water isn’t bioavailable. It doesn’t actually get into the cell and do what it’s supposed to do. The water that everybody is drinking comes out of bottles that have been extruded through plastic and that leaches into the water. And so you’re not getting just water, even if it’s good water, but you’re getting all those petrochemicals in the water. And I think that’s what sets us off.
And when you’re dehydrated, what we’ve noticed, and I’m sure you’ve seen this, every symptom you have is exaggerated. It’s similar to, if you had two fish tanks and one was a 10-gallon tank and one was a 100-gallon tank, then you had two goldfish in and you put a drop of ick, which is a bacteria that causes fin rot, in both of those tanks. The 10-gallon tank fish is gonna experience symptoms way faster than the 100-gallon tank. That’s what it’s like when you’re dehydrated or when you’re hydrated. So I love that point that you made.
Yeah, that’s exactly right. So one, people don’t even attempt to drink a lot of water and when they do, what’s the source of it? And it’s really important that people also understand is that just because you’re putting something into your mouth, doesn’t mean your body’s actually absorbing what you’re putting in there. You just assume that it is. And I tell people, I got news for you. It’s probably not absorbing most of it, because first of all, whatever you put into your mouth has to be broken down through your stomach with stomach acid, and so if you have a low amount of stomach acid, I don’t care what you stick down there.
It’s not gonna get absorbed the way that it needs to. If anything, it’s gonna sit there longer and you’re gonna get gut rot, and you’ll get putrification and rancid, and all of a sudden you’ll mess up your microbiome levels that are in your stomach, that go into your gut, that’ll migrate up to your lungs and even into your brain, through the vagus nerve. And one of the reasons that you might not have good digestion is because your vagus nerve, part of your parasympathetic nervous system, doesn’t work too well because you’re stuck in fight, flight, freeze, freak out mode.
So that’s why breathing and taking yourself down, off the ledge can help in many, many different ways. So that’s a fundamental process. Then when you put the water in, it’s like oxygen. People do a lot of breathing, but I’m like, okay, well, you can have oxygen in your blood, but that doesn’t mean you have oxygen in your tissues. Those are two different things. It’s the same thing with water. The water has to actually get into the cell and back out again. Same thing with oxygen. So if you have that, I love the analogy of the fish tank, ’cause that’s what I do all the time for my lymphatic work.
If you have a toxic fish tank, the fish are your cells, basically. And they live in fluid and that’s called interstitial fluid, packed in between the cells. That’s the environment that allows transportation to occur across the cell membrane and then out of the cell membrane and then out of the body. And that fluid, that interstitial fluid, is usually full of toxins and inflammation. It’s called interstitial inflammatory stasis. Means you have stagnation. And then stuff can’t get in, stuff can’t get out. And when that happens, it just stays inside of you. And when anything stays inside of you for longer than it’s supposed to be in there, you’re gonna get sick and you’re gonna stay sick. Here’s the thing that people need to understand. It’s not just the bad stuff that can make you ill. It’s the good stuff, too, if you can’t break it down and you can’t absorb it and you can’t get rid of it. ‘Cause everything good that goes in turns bad after it’s broken down and it can’t get out. That’s waste management 101. And then that’s some fundamental premise that I learned from somebody that you know, Jerry Tennant, where he said a phrase to me that just knocked me upside the head, where, okay, well, chronic disease only occurs when you lose the ability to make new cells that work. And he says that twice so I’m gonna say it twice.
Chronic disease only occurs when you lose the ability to make new cells that work, which begs the question, because if you could make new cells, you wouldn’t stay sick. Which begs the question, what do you need to make a new cell that works? And that’s just the fundamentals of nutrients in and waste out. And most people are paying attention to the supply side. They’re throwing everything in, in, in, in, and they’re trying to fight what’s inside, but you to have to start to get the fundamental waste out first. ‘Cause your body’s always gonna respond the same way to any toxin. The same mechanism always gets released. I just need to make sure that the body has a capability to do what it’s trying to do, . I’m not saying that you’re not gonna get sick or might be sick for a long period of time. Because if you’re alive on this earth, that’s gonna happen to you.
You’re gonna get sick. But you shouldn’t have to be as sick as we are, or stay as sick as we are for this long. Why are human beings completely falling apart in 2021? We’re sicker than we’ve ever been? We’re more tired, more fatigued, more depressed, more polarized, more angry. I got news for you, whatever the hell we’re doing, it ain’t working. It’s the wrong thought process. And so you need to flip a switch and look a little bit differently at basics and fundamentals. And here’s the thing, too, that people need to understand is that you’re allowed to have more than one problem, which means that many people have comorbidities.
They not only have a Lyme infection, but they may have had something long time before the Lyme that made them more susceptible to getting the Lyme, and their immune system wasn’t able to be that resilient to fight it off because a lot of people may have something that’s underlying like H pylori in the stomach, which is very, very common. They probably have an underlying, now you can’t even say the word virus anymore, because everybody freaks out, but there’s more than one virus, you know, there’s like a couple of trillion of them. But most people have a herpes virus floating around. It’s very, very common. Or an Epstein-Barr virus, which is mono. And when you’ve got those at the same time you’ve got something else, you still have to treat the underlying fundamental body immune systems the same way.
As many of the Lyme patients would agree, oftentimes Lyme itself travels with a pack, like the co-infections that people are familiar with. But now there seems to be some new players on the field that we’re experiencing in clinic. And one of them is mold and there’s thousands of different strains of mold. And that’s just a subcategory of fungus, which is in our air and that we breathe and probably in many of the foods that we eat, and so all of these organisms make up our microbiome, in one way or another. And what you described just now is the symbiotic or the symphony of organisms in the body that have lived in harmony, and we need them to be living inside of us in order for us to digest food and process things.
And really what happens is the imbalance, when we have an overgrowth of one or the other, for whatever reason, and, of course, our immune system somewhat keeps that stuff in check when that’s all working on all fours. And something else you really struck a great chord because there’s a direct correlation between toxicity and inflammation. And oftentimes, people that are toxic, their detox pathways, particularly chronic patients, their detox pathways are compromised. And so they go on these detox profiles. I need to detox. I need to detox. Well, great. So then they do some, either they could do chelating-type supplements and things like that, and now, yes, they’re detoxing, but they don’t have the exit strategy. All they’re doing is creating more toxicity, probably bringing more inflammation because you can stir it up, but if you can’t get it out, then it either settles back down or it becomes another stressor, in a sense.
Yeah, you’re so right there. It’s the same thing we talked about with the nervous system. You have to have a system that can tolerate what you’re doing. So you can stir things up. It’s like going in a fish bowl and stirring up the sand. It’s just gonna float around in there and it’s gonna settle right back down in there. I see that a lot. So that’s why, in… But before I cycle back into that, it’s really important what you said about the microbiome, and I love that, the balance of it. So one, having enough, but also variation, variability and variety, not too much of one type. And that’s why I love the work of Zach Bush, who’s been on my show and I know he’s affiliated with you. And he talks about getting microbiome from a source that we don’t really think about, and that’s going outside and sniffing nature, dirt, and putting your hands in things, and you inhale your microbiome.
You don’t always have to eat it. That’s why nature is so healing ’cause there’s so many things going on at the source there, from what you inhale, from what you touch, from what you hear, what you feel, all of that. So it’s really, really important ’cause you’re not gonna get it just from trying to eat it. And so that’s another thing with the sympathetic nervous system that we talked about before, if you’re always in this fight, flight, freeze, freak out mode, you gotta get the body system to be able to relax to allow you to detox. Because one thing that happens when you’re in that mode is digestion slows down. They automatically decrease your exit strategy, from the get-go. You usually stop breathing, like you’ll hold your breath a lot, or maybe you’ll over-breathe. So that in and of itself, you’re gonna shut down a pathway of exiting carbon dioxide from the body, through your lungs, which is a huge way that you get rid of waste.
And also you have microbiome in your lungs, it’s called the gut-lung axis, but you’ll shut down digestion and you’ll feed constipation. And so you lose your pooping strategy, which is phase three detox. So everybody goes after one and two in the liver, but I’m like that’s going towards number three, right? Or your kidneys are so overloaded because one, you’re so stressed, and then two, you’re so toxic in your body with the relationship to your interstitial fluid and your arterial flow and your venous flow and your lymph flow that you lose the ability for your spleen, your liver, and your kidney to deal with the viscosity increased thickness of your blood. And when you’re dehydrated, your blood gets thicker, more viscous, which means that it gets stuck at the capillaries.
This means it can’t get through to even deliver the nutrients. See all these things come into play, but that’s why doing something of the fundamentals where I always have to get you out of this survival mode first, before I do other types of treatments, because you need to let down your wall. And then when you do that, you get into the growth and recovery mode. So I think it was Joe Dispenza, or maybe it was Lipton. One of the two said, you’re either in survival mode or growth mode. You can’t be in both at the same time. Your body’s got to make a choice, and trust me, I know which one it’s gonna choose every time. It’s the not dying road.
Of course, yeah.
So let’s go down to this mode and then… ‘Cause, hey, it’s hard to heal when you’re dead, man. We’ll worry about healing later, let’s just get away from the tiger. But the problem is you never get away from the damned tiger. Why? Because tigers can shake it off and shut it off and move to the next thing. Humans can’t and they’ll grab onto something and they won’t ever let go. That’s the beauty of what makes us human, but it’s also what’s
What gets in the way.
a black hole is that you can use your imagination to bring you into a magnificent place, or you can use it to bring you into a dark place. And that’s what happens when you fall into this cycle. And then that’s that fight, freeze, with some people get immobilized. And then fawn is just they do whatever you tell them to do. They just shut off any capability to do anything on their own. But that’s why the environment that you’re in is really, really important. One, your own environment… But the environment for your friends and your family and your support. One of my guests was Linda Barrett, who said, one of the best things for a human nervous system is another human nervous system, another human. And she goes, the worst thing for a human nervous system is another human nervous system. It goes both ways.
So you connect that way. When you were going back with being inside of the mother, you’re wired to take in biological information, right from the get-go. And that’s why it’s the sound, and the vestibular system is one of the first ones that develop. You know the sound of your mom’s voice and you can feel-
And her heartbeat.
Yeah, her hormones are gonna go through you. Her nutrients are gonna go through you. One day you’re gonna come out. That stays with you. Really cool research coming out on that right now, not to mention, as you know, how many toxins cross the placental barrier that we never knew about before either. So kids are born with toxins today that they’ve never had before. That’s why somebody can be 25 years old and say, yeah, I was great my whole life. Why is it just coming out on me? Ah, ah, your body never forgets anything. So it’s had to adapt to its surroundings from the get-go. And what I try to tell people is this is that your body’s always trying to protect you. It’s always trying to heal you. It’s never turning its back on you, even though it can feel that way sometimes, but it’s doing the best it can with what it’s got in the moment it’s in to protect you. And here’s the thing, is that it always goes back to a strategy that it used in the past that worked for it.
It might not be the best strategy for you now, but at one point, if it used it, it was useful. That’s really important for people to understand. Your body never does anything by accident. There’s no oopsie daisies in anything. There’s always a reason. We just don’t know what the hell it is. And so we’re coming at it from our limited viewpoint, from a logical standpoint, but it’s based on utility. And then it, it says to itself, hey, when we got into this the last time, the pain worked really well.
When you got depressed, it helped you when you were there. We should probably do that again. And that’s natural for it to do it because sometimes it doesn’t know any other options. Why? Because that history is now stored in your subconscious system to automatically respond to that stressor when it hits again. That’s why now that you understand that you can use that conscious aspect to try to give it another option. So I use that in my office all the time with people of why I try to get them to focus on the 99% of their body that is actually working really, really well.
It’s interesting ’cause you’re modeling and you’re offering them to focus away from the thing that often becomes their obsession, is trying to fix that one little part of them that isn’t necessarily working right.
Yeah, well, it’s a classic of what you focus on expands. I mean, they tell you that in the self-help world. Well, the same thing happens in physiology as well.
Yeah, and we respond to stress. I mean, most people think stress is a bad word. Like we’re stressed out, but it’s the stresses that actually cause us to grow and expand. But we also have to keep shifting the playbook because things are changing and evolving and we’re in a much different world. Actually, some of our own technology came from that because I’ve been teaching for 20 years at Hippocrates. And I stare at this painting of him. And when I look at it, and it was saying, you know, food is our medicine. That was one of his big sayings. But the food in Hippocrates’ days isn’t the food of today. when you can go to the gas station and buy a Twinkie that’s got a shelf life of 500 years, and I have nothing against Twinkies, if you guys are out there and you’re listening to this.
But there’s something wrong with anything that can have a shelf life for that long. And when I was young, my grandmother, her refrigerator had an ice block on top of it. And so we didn’t have leftovers. We ate the food that was picked that day that we bought at the market. She cooked, prepared, and the next day, we’d rinse and repeat it. But we only have a few minutes left and there’s so much to cover. I wanna spend some time on the lymphatic system, and the glymphatic system, as you talk about, which is one of our detox pathways. And you spend a lot of time on that. And you know why it’s so important to the Lyme community is because oftentimes Lyme patients are bedridden. They can’t get out, they can’t move around. So what kinds of things could you… Let’s talk about it just for a minute, in your words, and then give us some idea about the things that we can do to just start to move the stagnation, to get things going, just a starting reference point.
Yeah. Great question. First of all, that’s why I love your work. And I love the sauna because you’re one of the few people that actually talks about and understands the world of the lymphatic system. And for those that might not know what it is. To me, it’s is the most important neglected system in your whole body. If you’ve got a long-term issue or you’re sick, you’ve got a lymphatic system problem. Zero discussion, hard stop, period. It just depends on how much and how long it’s gonna take you to get well from it. And it’s the primary part of your immune system. Its job is to get rid of toxic waste in your body and get rid of inflammation. That’s kind of important. And it’s also part of your cardiovascular system, which means it’s a huge player in the ability for your body to actually deliver nutrients to the body via the arterial system and get rid of waste via the venous system. So all three of those systems work together.
If you have a stagnation or an obstruction or a backflow in one, you’re gonna affect all three. So it’s really important that you look at that system, and it’s designed to get rid of all the toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus, cellular waste, metabolic waste, everything that your body’s trying to do to regenerate itself, but it gets stagnated and stuck, and people say, why? I’m like, that’s a really simple answer. It’s called life. We don’t do anything intentionally to take care of it. Now it’s always working. If it stopped working, you’d be dead in 24 hours, that’s how important it is. And it wouldn’t be a fun trip on the way there. But breathing really moves lymphatics a lot. So a particular type of breathing, diaphragm breathing. When you breathe through your belly and through your nose only, not through your mouth, in and out through your nose, expand through the belly, not just the front, but the sides and the back, like you’re inflating a balloon on all sides. It increases pressure in the body. It’s called intra-abdominal pressure. And when you do that, it moves fluid based on pressure. Pressure increases in the abdomen, it decreases in the lungs here, and then it pulls fluids everywhere in the body. And it pumps where most of your lymphatics live, which is in your gut. So 70 to 80% of your immune system is in your gut. That’s where most of your lymph lives, too.
Nature’s not stupid. She’s really smart. So she’s there for a reason. It’s the first system to greet anything that breaks into the barrier to take a hold of you. But it becomes stagnant in there because nobody breathes through the belly. They breathe through the lungs or the neck, or they don’t breathe at all. Number two is movement. The more you move of yourself, more often, more ways, more environments, the more you’ll move lymph, and the major lymph node points to get stuck are around the primary joints of your body that need to move the most. The knees, the hips, the shoulders, the abdomen, and the upper neck. That’s why you wanna do a lot of hanging motion, climbing motions, swinging motion, jumping jacks. Move the joints in all directions. And humans don’t do that.
We sit all day or we may be lying in bed ’cause we can’t move. Or when we do move, we do linear movements in a gym, front to back all the time. We don’t twist, turn, and rotate and spiral, which you should, ’cause that’s how your tissue and your DNA is structured, as a spiral. But when you’re lying in bed and you can’t move, you can make an effort and do those two things. So what I usually teach people is one, you can definitely start to learn to breathe through your diaphragm. In and out through your nose and through your diaphragm. ‘Cause then when you breathe in and out through your nose, you’re automatically gonna use your diaphragm.
Then, even though you can’t stand up and move around, you should be able to still move your body. So I tell people to be a spiral. You take one leg at a time and you twist it in and out, like you’re turning a stick in the ground, and you do the same thing for the other one. And then you do one arm at a time, then you do the other arm. And now you add two arms at a time, two legs at a time, then you add all four. Then you add your left leg and your right arm.
Then you alternate. So you start to twist and turn, and then you should be massaging the front of your body from your neck, to your chest, to your abdomen, to your groin. That will increase blood flow, lymph flow, circulation. And you’ll relieve the areas that have the most tightness and tension in the body. And based on my experience, it’s also where you’ll have the most emotion trapped in your body, which will be in the front of the body. And if you can just do those couple things, and then also, as you know, how about you take a nice drink of water with some good minerals in there. That’s always a bonus. And you can make a huge difference in yourself.
Yeah, this is a great way to start. It’s certainly giving people a reference point. Many of them, many Lyme patients can’t get started. Can’t get jump-started. There are some mechanical devices like the vibration plates and so forth that kind of shake it up a little bit, and that gets things moving. There’s these little rebounders, like little trampolines, that you can get on. And there’s that old dance called the hokey pokey, which made me think when you said twist and turn, I mean, it’s all connected and it’s really important. And to enjoy and have fun. Put on some music and just dance around.
Dancing is a great one. I mean, how therapeutic is that? Dance like nobody’s watching. And singing, because singing stimulates your vagus nerve and then you can use the original rebounder, which is jumping up and down on the balls of your feet. That’s your calves. We don’t do those kinds of things because they’re kids games that we did in the past, or it’s not, what kind of exercise is that? It’s not exercise. it’s movement.
Exactly, and it’s so important. I think movement is a key to longevity, frankly.
Oh, yeah. Movement is life, right?
Yeah, totally, totally. Wow, I don’t even know where to begin to tell you how much I appreciate you giving us all these words of wisdoms today, Perry. You know, Dr. Nickelston, you’re amazing. We only have a few minutes left. I was just wondering if you wanna leave some closing message for us that everybody can hang on with. Of course, if you need to get ahold of Dr. Nickelston, you can simply go to his website, which is stopchasingpain.com. It can’t be simpler than that. Most of you out there can appreciate some aspect of pain, either emotional or physical. And so he has it all together and he’s willing to share his wisdom with you. So this is a guy you need to know. So Perry-
Thank you very much. Well, hopefully I said one or two things that may have resonated with people. I like to leave them with this, to remember that health is a journey, not a destination. Just pay attention to the moment that you’re in. They call it present time consciousness. That’s awareness or mindfulness. And I had a neuroscientist, Beau Lotto, tell me that your present moment is your future past, So how do you want that to be? And you can choose that. And it’s little and often, over the long haul.
You don’t have to make big, huge steps to make a significant change in your life. That’s why water and the lymph and the sauna and small things like that can be huge. And I tell people just take tiny little action steps every single day, because, listen, little done every day is no longer little. You know what they’re called?
That’s called your habits and your behaviors. That’s not little. So you just have to reprogram your little, a little piece at a time. And then that’s why you’re gonna be successful because the brain will resist big changes every time. And so you come in slow and easy and it’ll give it to you. It’ll give it to you. So I’d like to leave with that message of stay in the moment that you’re in and realize that tomorrow is another day, but love the moment that you’re in. And don’t forget to love yourself because if you don’t love yourself, you’re really gonna struggle to get well.
Fantastic. Love you. Dr. Perry, you’re amazing. Can’t wait to have another chance to mingle with you because every time I talk to you, whether I’m on the side of this camera or you are, I learn something and I know everybody out there has learned a lot today. So we super appreciate you. Thank you for your time, for your patience and for your passion, because you’re truly amazing. Thanks again.
Thank you, my friend.
Hey everybody, it’s Robby Besner. Thanks so much for joining us today. Please share this content with anyone that you think might benefit from it. And we’re looking forward to having you with us tomorrow for another great interview.
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